The media onslaught surrounding the film is kicking into high-gear and Marvel’s go-to guy is right out in front. The man has been doing interviews left and right. While the core of those pieces deals with The Avengers itself and the road leading up to it, talk inevitably turns towards what the future of Marvel’s “movieverse” has in store for audiences. Surprisingly, Feige has been a lot more open than I expected. For the sake of my sanity, the rest of this piece will deal with projects individually. Let’s start with the next couple films that are poised to slide out of the pipeline…
IRON MAN III (2013)
Marvel’s next release will hit screens next year in May, their prized annual slot. Shane Black is directing from a script penned by himself and Drew Pierce. Downey will obviously return in the title role. Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, and Scarlett Johansson have also been confirmed as reprising their roles. The door is open for Jon Favreau to return as “Happy Hogan”, but scheduling will determine if it actually happens. Ben Kingsley is supposedly in talks to play the baddie. Shooting begins in five weeks down in North Carolina.
The plot, which Black has called “Clancy-esque”, is heavily inspired by the Extremis run in the comics. Feige has called the tale a “metaphorical throwback” to Stark’s captivity in the first film, where his intelligence is his most powerful weapon. While outer elements are obviously in play (considering Black Widow’s involvement), this will primarily be a standalone tale that has little to do with the events of this year’s release.
THOR II (2013)
Captain Pop-Tarts next adventure is scheduled to hit screen in November of next year and will begin filming in London in July. According to Feige, everyone is coming back. Yes, even Loki, though not as the big baddie. It will deal heavily with the ramifications of Thor’s destruction of the Bifrost and the havoc its absence has wrought in the Nine Realms. The crux of the tale will revolve around Thor’s relationships with his father, Odin, and his lady “love”, Jane Foster. For most of us who felt their relationship was undercooked in the first film, Feige has this to say…
Really they were only together for three days, and do they love each other? Do they like each other? Do they know each other? We’re acknowledging that that love story in the first movie was sort of a quick crush, essentially, over the course of three quick days in the middle of the desert.
Thank God! As previously stated by Feige, this is also another standalone tale and will supposedly be set primarily within the other realms.
CAPTAIN AMERICA II (2014)
Currently scheduled for an April 2014 release. Whereas the above films will mostly be stand-alone entries in their respective franchises, Cap’s next adventure will be greatly influenced by the events of The Avengers. It will be a modern day tale, but will have some flashbacks to Cap’s WWII days…..though the extent of these haven’t been decided just yet. SHIELD will be a heavy presence, as Feige has stated that Cap will be a part of the organization for the time being. I’m sure Sam Jackson will be happy to hear that. That said, it IS a Steve Rogers tale and will be about Cap finding his place in our world. The writers have previously hinted at wanting to bring in MODOK, but who knows how successful they’ll be on that front. Obviously the return of Red Skull, Arnim Zola, and/or Hyrda are possibilities; as well as the famed Winter Soldier storyline. I’d say the latter is fairly likely, as is the return of Hydra. When it comes to Skull and/or Zola, I won’t be surprised if they hold off a bit on that….or at least restrict it to a tease. All spitballing aside, I’m sure we’ll be getting more details on this one over the next six months.
UNDETERMINED MAY 2014 RELEASE
So what will it be? Feige isn’t saying yet, though an announcement before or at Comic-Con seems locked in. It won’t be Ant-Man though. That much is clear.
Speaking of Ant-Man, what in the hell is going on between Edgar Wright and Marvel? A lot, from the sound of it. Apparently there have been rumors circulating that Wright recently shot something for Marvel Studios. Feige shot those down, but said that could very well change in the coming months. He’s also teased that we should pay close attention to Wright’s Twitter account this summer. That enough for you? No? Well apparently, depending on what he does for them, Wright’s involvement with the company could lead to the first year in which Marvel will release THREE films. 2014 or 2015? Feige isn’t saying. It sounds like it will definitely be one of those though.
DR. STRANGE and THE INHUMANS
Not much has been said about either film recently, but Feige did mention both in the same breath as Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy when speaking about what new projects should be coming next from the company. That tells me that both are pretty far along the pipeline and should see the light of day in the next three years. Why do I think that? Feige implied that they will not only be clarifying their 2014 scheduled at Comic-Con, but also revealing some of their plans for 2015. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on Dr. Strange being that May 2014 release.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
This puppy gets its own entry because Feige dropped a tasty morsel on the subject. The team on display in the eventual film will be primarily based on the modern line-up…
“It’s more Star-Lord and Drax and Gamora, and less Vance Astro and that team.”
That’s right people, unless something changes, Rocket Raccoon WILL be gracing the silver screen within the next couple years…
“We are very excited about bringing things like that, maybe things exactly like that, to the screen. [...] When you tell people, you know what would be really cool? This movie, and there’s a raccoon, and there’s a tree… And they go, ‘What?’ And people like you know what it is, and get excited. And the majority of people go, ‘Did you say a raccoon and a tree?’ ‘Oh yeah, they’re going to steal the whole movie. They’re hilarious.’ ‘Okay, I’ll believe it when I see it.’ I like that.”
Time to do a happy dance!
As Renn stated earlier today, the Big Green Meanie seems to have recaptured the hearts of those who have seen Avengers and it seems highly likely that we will see a third Hulk film (with Ruffalo) at some point down the line. Feige is hedging his bets though, saying that they are taking things slow on the solo Hulk front and doesn’t seem sure if that will change anytime soon. I have a feeling the general populace’s reaction to the character in Avengers will determine whether we next see Banner in Hulk III or Avengers II.
THE AVENGERS II
We’ve constantly heard rumors and vague statements about the next Marvel “event” film showing up Summer 2017. Such a gap will allow them to further evolve the characters they’ve already introduced and bring in some “newbies” before the next team-up flick, which will more than likely be Avengers II. Smart move, Marvel. And yes, Joss Whedon has an option to return to the director’s chair for it if and when the time comes to make it.
Basically, Marvel has no plans of doing anything with Pixar in the near future. They have, however, been talking with Disney about the possibility of an animated Marvel feature at some point. Feige was cagey about the timeline, so it looks like it isn’t close to happening anytime soon.
Oddly enough, neither Runaways nor Black Panther have been mentioned yet. One can only assume that the latter isn’t far enough into scripting stages to be brought up just yet, though I’ll be shocked if T’Chala isn’t introduced in time for inclusion in the next team-up project. The former is the real shocker though. Runaways was originally scheduled to be Marvel’s other 2012 release before they decided to remove it from the slate and focus solely on getting The Avengers across the finish line. How far along is it? Far enough that it has a completed screenplay and director Peter Sollett had already begun preliminary casting sessions to fill out the main roles. Has Marvel scrapped it or is it merely still on the backburner, awaiting a greenlight? Only time will tell.
Oh, and apparently Feige loved the unfinished cut of The Amazing Spider-Man that he watched recently. Would he really tell us otherwise though?
So, what have my fellow Chewers to say about what Feige & Co. have in store for us over the next three years or so? Fire away in the forums and the comments below.